The government kept about a third of its budget promises last year, an analysis by Colombo-based Verité Research found.
The private think tank said that the progress was a marked improvement over where budget implementation stood half a year ago.
“Overall, compared to the first six months, the government has done relatively well,” said, Verité Research Assistant Analyst Nilangika Fernando.
She was speaking at a press conference at the Sri Lanka Press Institute yesterday. But the general lack of implementation of signature budget promises “is a persistent problem,” she added. “It’s not an issue of one government.”
Verité tracked 37 major budget promises over the course of 2017, amounting to about Rs. 117 billion.
According to official documents Verité obtained through correspondence and requests under the Right to Information Act, eight percent of those commitments have been fulfilled, and 22 percent have made substantial progress. Another 24 percent are partially completed, and 11 percent have made poor progress. Twenty-four percent, like the promise of establishing and Export-Import Bank, were broken.
In terms of transparency, Verité said the most responsive government agencies were the Information and Communication Technology Agency, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry, the National Budget Department, and the Presidential Secretariat. Verité Research Director Subhashini Abeysinghe said it was important to keep track of budget implementation. Politicians make big promises every November, but it’s very difficult to track the actual progress of those commitments, she said.
People can view the progress of individual budget initiatives at www.budgetpromises.org
Taken from Daily News